2023 NFC Conference Championship Playoff Pick

Three games remain. Four teams, with two in each conference. The remaining two in the NFC are the NFC West leaders San Francisco 49ers and the NFC East division winning and conference leading Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams have potent offenses, talented quarterbacks, elite defenses, and intelligent coaches. Time to determine who will advance to the Super Bowl.

#2 San Francisco 49ers v. #1 Philadelphia Eagles

The best two players on the field Sunday will be Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts (1, green) and San Francisco’s Nick Bosa (97, white). Whoever has the better game gives their team the best chance to advance to the Super Bowl.

This might be the funnest and most entertaining championship game since San Francisco and Seattle’s slugfest January 2014. Philadelphia has a layered pass rush while the 49ers have the best linebacker unit in the league. The Eagles have a more complete secondary and both teams have excellent special teams.

The winner of this game has to dominate on both the offensive and defensive lines. Both offensive lines are consistent and give their quarterbacks time. San Francisco and Philadelphia have dangerous receiving tandems, great running games and reliable tight-ends. One must watch a lot of film to understand which team has the best chance of winning.

The deciding factors will determine the conference winner: coaching, depth on the defensive line and deep-ball plays. The 49ers secondary is bottom three in the league in stopping throws over 20 yards (via Scott Van Pelt’s Sportscenter on ESPN) and as many who pay attention can tell you, a pass-rush and interior run defense that can substitute for multiple plays throughout a game is a team’s underrated winning formula. Philadelphia has won a lot of games breaking down opposing offensive lines.

The final reason is why the Eagles have the best chance of winning this game. Head coach Nick Sirianni played Kyle Shanahan’s team the second game in his coaching career. Sirianni’s learned a lot since the encounter and is more ruthless, determined and not as prone to choking in important second half possessions than his opponent. If the Eagles find a weakness early in either half, they will exploit it often and won’t let up until the 49ers fix it.

Prediction: Eagles win conference and advance to Super Bowl 20-17

NFC 2023 playoff picks record: 4-1


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